- Conceptual consciousnesses create virtue
- Dispelling misconception about “guru devotion”
- Relying on a spiritual mentor as the root of spiritual growth
- The meaning of “guru,” “lama,” and “spiritual mentor”
- Translating the traditional student-teacher relationship to the West
The Foundation of Buddhist Practice 17: Relying on a spiritual mentor (download)
17 The Foundation of Buddhist Practice: Relying on a Spiritual Mentor 11-03-19
- Why is it that conceptual (not nonconceptual) consciousnesses create positive and negative karma? Walk through the reason to better understand why this is.
- What is the reason behind using the term “spiritual mentor” instead of “guru?” What does the term “guru” generally evoke in the West that we are to be cautious of?
- What are the internal and external conditions for having a meaningful and happy life now and in the future? How does this differ from how society, and even other religions, present the pursuit of a meaningful and happy life?
- Why is it important to rely on a qualified spiritual mentor to progress on the path? What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages of not doing so?
- What is meant when the the Buddha asserts to Ananda that the “entire holy life” is about spiritual companionship? Who is he referring to and why?
- Why is it important to check into each person’s qualifications before choosing spiritual mentors? What kinds of qualities are we to look for?
- How does the relationship with a spiritual mentor differ from one with a schoolteacher or professor?